Masai Mara Safari
07.24.2008 - 07.29.2008
We decided to make our way to the Masai Mara, really just the northern extension of the Serengeti into Kenya, via Nairobi. This turned out to be a great safari for several reasons. Our driver in the Masai Mara, Willy, was a great guide who enjoyed his work and was equally enthused as we were to spot game. Another is that there were fewer cars in this part of the park, and Willy was able to get much closer to some of the game.
WARNING: There are blood and guts in these photos!
We stayed at a tented camp, called Kichwa Tembo. Very swank. The routine was morning and evening game drives separated by down time, which could include swimming in the pool next to the resident wart hogs who liked to hang out there, too:
We saw lots of cats up close:
This is a serval, which is a smaller cat that we were lucky in seeing on his/her morning hunt:
We also saw mothers and their young:
One of the big reasons we came here was to see the migration. Each day we were there, the plains filled up with the wildebeest and zebra that had journeyed from Tanzania. Many people come to the Masai Mara to see the animals crossing the Mara river to get to other grassy plains and watch the drama that ensues:
In this shot of a crossing, you'll notice a crocodile in the path of the lead zebra. We watched as it attempted to drag down the baby, but the latter was successful in crossing. Others weren't as lucky of course, and we witnessed several wildebeest young being pulled under and eventually eaten by hordes of crocs.
The migration also means more food for the predators. We saw many lions with full bellies and many kill remains that were being picked through by vultures, eagles and jackals. We were fortunate to have arrived just after these kills:
Some of the "small stuff" is interesting here, too. Many species of birds and small mammals and these fellows crossing the road, "safari ants":